BC Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion Foundation is once again helping to change the lives of Veterans experiencing the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a $60,000 contribution to the Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs (VICD) PTSD Service Dog program. With the help of this boost from the BC Yukon Command Legion Foundation, VICD, a Division of BC Guide Dogs, is now celebrating six more PTSD Service Dog teams graduating in British Columbia since December 2018.
VICD began the PTSD Service Dog program in 2014 and has become the first PTSD program to achieve international accreditation under the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) PTSD Service Dog standards. Since 2014, VICD has trained and paired over 35 dogs with Veterans. Each team completed a unique 52-week healthy community living program with their qualified PTSD Service Dog. This has provided the support and motivation for our Veterans to re-enter active community living, and eligibility for certification under the BC Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and Assistance Dogs International.
As of December 31st, 2018, VICD has officially amalgamated with BC Guide Dogs, which has helped VICD with purpose-bred dogs and technical support since their beginning. The amalgamation strengthens the capacity of both organizations to bring more service and support dog teams to individuals and families in need throughout the province.
This donation from the BC Yukon Legion Foundation is a combined effort from Legions across British Columbia to help positively change the lives of Veterans, Veterans’ families, and the communities they live in.